We're proud as punch here in Australia to have one of our own score a signature shoe with Vans, so we knew we had to chat with star Sydney shredder Chima Ferguson about how it all came together. Chima is living in LA these days, and his accent has a slight Cali lilt, but he still calls Astraya home and is back in his hometown to launch the new Chima Pro at a Vans party tonight. Here's what he had to say about sneakers, skating and Sydney...
SF: How did the signature shoe with Vans come together?
CF: I’d been riding for the Vans team for about eight years and they came to me and asked me to do a skate shoe. I wanted it to look like an Authentic, which is not too much of a skate shoe anyway, and give it a dress-like cover. I’ve always been into good looking shoes, and I worked with a designer and drew up the leather tongue piece.
What do you like about Authentics?
I love them, they’re nice and thin so there’s a good amount of board feel – I’ve never liked a lot of padding. They come in the best colours, simple colours.
You're 24, but you came up quite young and have been doing this seriously for close to a decade. Do you feel like a veteran yet?
I still feel young, there’s still plenty of guys still going in their late thirties. You just have to keep your body healthy and take care of yourself and you’ll stay in the game.
What else have you been doing lately apart from promo for this shoe?
At the moment we’re working on the first Vans skating video ever. It’s a skate movie, I suppose, we’ve been working on it for the past four years. It’s probably going to go for about a hour. It's gonna be a big deal.
What does being on the Vans team entail?
We go on a lot of trips. We’ll meet up with distributors and do demonstrations for kids locally. It’s a whole lot of skating, filming, shit talking, a lot of drinking and time in the van too. We’ve got guys on the side that enter the comps, but I’ve never really been into the competitive side of things, I just like skating around.
What's your favourite place to skate?
I live in LA now, but you need a car to get anywhere so Sydney is still my favourite place to skate. You can just get on your board at home and cruise through all the spots. My favourite is probably Martin Place in Sydney because it’s so open.
Comfy. You get some big air in your videos, the impact on your ankles and knees must be intense. How can a shoe lessen the damage?
The better the sole, the less impact. The sole, the insole, it can all change the impact on the ankle, knees and back. This shoe is closest to the Authentic so it’s got great support.
How's your body holding up?
I’m pretty sore right now, actually. We were skating a lot in LA and then I was in a crammed seat on the plane for 14 hours. I’ve had a bruised heel for a while because I stepped on a rock badly when I wasn’t wearing shoes, and it won't go away.
Ahh damn, it can't get better because it keeps getting impact. Some folks' minds move quickly, have you considered what you'll do for the Chima Pro 2 yet?
I haven’t even started thinking about that yet. We’ve got four more seasons of this shoe with new colourways so there's a lot left in this one. The colours will be as close to traditional Authentic colours, with white stitching and accenting.